Origin: Western Australia
Scientific Name: Chamelaucium uncinatum
Parts Used: Flowers, leaves
Geraldton Wax is incredibly popular as cut flowers, as the flowers last quite a long time after cutting. It is also quite popular as a garden plant.
The leaves and flowers can be used in cooking, and have a slightly citrus flavour, which has been compared to keffir lime.
The Chamelaucium genus contains 14 species of waxflowers, all endemic to Western Australia, with the Geraldton Wax being the most well-known.
Type: Evergreen shrub
Plant size: 0.5-4m
Leaves: Thin, needle-like leaves, 2-3cm long, with a slight hook at the end.
Flowers: Makuru/ Djilba/ Kambarang: Small pink/white flowers (2cm across) with 5 round, waxy petals, with 10 stamens and a bowl-shaped centre.
Etymology: Native to Geraldton and the mid-west, with waxy flowers. The species name uncinatum is Latin for “hooked”, and refers to the tips of the leaves.
In the Garden
Light: Bright light
Water: Minimal once established
Companion Planting: Grevillea, correa and westringia, paper daisies.
- To keep plants looking good, apply a low-phosphorus native plant fertiliser in spring. Water plants well before spreading fertiliser.
- After flowering, lightly prune away spent flowers. These can also be picked as a long-lasting and very pretty cut flower. An all-over clip keeps plants compact and tidy. Avoid heavy pruning or cutting into old stems.